Apr. 11th, 2013 10:53 am
chani: (Default)

I don't believe in afterlife, but at least Bastet's and Loukoum's bodies lay together in my sister's garden.

Read more... )
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Exactly 8 weeks after Bastet, Loukoum passed away.

This time it happened peacefully, at the vet's, in my arms. I couldn't let him go on like that, with his face all distorted (he didn't look like himself anymore, the vet said that she didn't recognize him) and the difficult breathing. I didn't sleep last night because I was worried, and the vet told me that he would have suffocated one night soon or later indeed, so I couldn't let that happen. But it was tough because he was moving and miaowing still a lot. Talkative to the end, my poor baby.

I'm waiting for my sister so we'll bury him next to Bastet.

My place is just too empty and too quiet. I spent so many weeks worrying myself sick. I can mourn them both now.

chani: (justified)
This is my review of Justified season 4 's finale at last!

Well, sort of. Noel Murray wrote a great review on the TV Club so I'm mostly recommending it.

Read more... )
RL is keeping me away from LJ. There's work to do, and an old and sick cat to take care of. I mentioned it in comments from an earlier post, Loukoum has a polypus in his nose that showed on the MRI in January but was barely mentioned by the neurologist then, because the priority was the ostitis. The problem is that the polypus has grown (which probably caused the sneezing that was already there before I left to Rome)and has started bleeding when I came back from Rome...the only treatment would be surgery but Loukoum is almost 18, and a new MRI would be needed anyway to see if it's operable,  so I decide to let him be.

It's kinda heartbreaking to see him frantically rub his nose or to hear his noisy breathing and frequent sniffing and sneezing – especially with the blood throwing that ensues –, but he still eats rather well, asks for food in the morning, communicate, we haven't reached that place yet. I don't know how long we have together. I just hope I'll be able to recognise the right moment when it comes, as I don't want to .

And of course, I'm leaving for Rome again in three weeks which doesn't help. So it feels that I'm still in the limo too, emotionally speaking.

chani: (Default)
I had to take Loukoum back to the vet yesterday in the afternoon, for he was sneezing and refused to eat (and seemed to have trouble eating his chicken bits). It's likely that the ostitis (and the weakness that ensued) awakened a dormant coryza. Besides cortisone is known for turning the immune defense system down.

Since he's already on antibiotics there's little to do, apart from fumigations (he hates that of course) and giving him a super nourishing gel. He has to eat...and I'm leaving on Saturday.

Of course, as soon as we were back from the vet, he went to eat chicken bits in his plate and later even ate some can food mixed with vegetables from a jar of baby food (don't laugh, he adores that stuff, and I'm ready to give him anything he wants). But this morning he turned his nose up at the food again. That cat is going to drive me crazy.

Fortunately I don't have to lecture this morning (my students have an oral exam) so I can take care of him. I'm also supposed to mark papers,  prepare my Roman trip and pack (at least in my head, I'll do it for real tomorrow). *sigh*
chani: (Default)

Yesterday I found the above picture via twitter and then this article:

"Everyone who has ever owned a cat will be familiar with their unmannerly feline habit of walking across your keyboard while you are typing. One of the manuscript pictures tweeted by @erik_kwakkel ( ) revealed that this is nothing new."

The marks of cat paws were neat but my favourite mention of cat on manuscript is:

"A Deventer scribe, writing around 1420, found his manuscript ruined by a urine stain left there by a cat the night before. He was forced to leave the rest of the page empty, drew a picture of a cat and cursed the creature with the following words:

Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam. Confundatur pessimus cattus qui minxit super librum ostum in nocte Daventrie, et consimiliter omnes alii propter illum. Et cavendum valde ne permittantur libri aperti per noctem uni cattie venire possunt."

Paws, Pee and Mice

You can also check this article:

Cats on keyboards? It's a long ancient tradition.

chani: (Default)
I met up with my thesis supervisor and my unofficial advisor on Wednesday and they were both very pleased with my thesis' 8 page detailed plan which I had sent to them two weeks earlier. All they had to say was how great it was. They had nothing to say against the approach and the detailed structure and they found the ideas very interesting.

It was nice to hear that of course but, to be honest, I would have rather them quibble and question things so I would have something to work on. Sometimes I wonder what they are in for. Basically, I'm on my own.
They understood that it was an "ideal plan", that some parts already had meat on the bones, others were even almost done, but some were still virtual.

We agreed to have a panel in Spring 2014, in  which I would talk about the third part of the thesis (the one that is mostly only a skeleton), in order to stimulate me while giving me time to work on the documents (my Roman manuscript and an incunabulum that is in Paris but that I haven't seen yet) and see if the plan is achievable.

Speaking of the Vatican mansucript, La Sorbonne finally booked my flight for Rome so I have got my e-tickets. I was beginning to fear that I would not get them in time (or would have to buy them myself in extremis) since my new stay at l' Ecole Française de Rome was scheduled from the 2nd of March to the 11th (during the school break). I will be there in two weeks so I'll "see" the beginning of the conclave.

Now the downs...

I'm under the weather. I've caught a cold – hopefully it is not the flu – so I'm even more tired than I "should" be.

And Loukoum's condition is not great. He's been ill for 4 weeks now and is slowing losing his appetite – which could be connected to the fact that he is no longer on cortisone –; I managed to make him eat in the past two days but he has thrown up on Thursday morning, and again yesterday evening. This morning he barely ate.

I guess he's nauseous but also he's fed up with taking anitbiotics and having me harassing him with food, so he "hides" under the bed to sleep on my travel bag.

I hesitate to take him back to the vet clinic today (but of course today his usual vet isn't there, it's her replacement!), or wait, watch over him during the weekend and decide on Monday, except that I work on Monday up to 4 pm. If he weren't almost 18 years old I would wait.


chani: (Default)
I am not 100% sure it's true, but apparently Robin Sachs died 4 days ago and was found today. It's all over twitter right now, and already on his Wikipedia page.

Ethan Rayne was easily my favourite non regular Buffy characters. Robin was such an amazing and charismatic actor, and like the greatest ones he had a VOICE.

I remember seeing Robin Sachs in various things – even when he wasn't easy to recognize like in Babylon 5, and I admit that I watched that silly Dynasty mini-sequel because he played Adam Carrington! – but he will forever be Ethan Rayne the magus, the bringer of Chaos.

After Buffy/Spike, Ethan/Giles was my OTP, and the reason I found out about slash fanfiction. Robin Sachs and Tony Head had such a great chemistry, and played each other so well. "A New Man' is among my favourite episodes, and "Band Candy" was also a lot of fun.

I don't know, it does seem like the end of an era. 13 days ago my beloved cat Bastet died, after 19 years of being my faithful companion and my dear friend, and now this.

It feels that my youth is really gone for good now.

:- (

chani: (Default)
Many thanks to those who left comments on my previous entry. Your support was really appreciated. I was too tired to respond to you, one by one, last week, and it's a bit painful to go back to that post again now, but know that I was touched by your words.

I dropped 3 kgs in 5 days last week and was so behind sleep that going through almost 4 hours of meeting with parents on Thursday evening and then resuming my usual teaching schedule was not easy. I know that my lectures sucked on Friday (and probably on Monday too) but it happens. When you are weak or down, this job can be one of the toughest to do.

I'm feeling more like myself now. The cocktail of antibiotics I give Loukoum seems to work so he looks more like his usual self too. Hopefully he is on the mend...

I can't believe it has been already one week since Bastet died. She has started visiting my dreams for a few nights. That is the place she inhabits now, among all my other dead, of the human or the feline variety.

I wonder if Loukoum dreams of her too.
chani: (Default)
Bastet died this morning at 7.25 am on my bed.

I really didn't expect it, for I have been focused on Loukoum's illness, but she was very unwell since 4 am, and her last hour was really hard to watch. It was an ordeal, as I was all by myself and the emergency vet didn't make it fast enough to ease her passing. There was little I could do except talking to her and petting her the more gently I could.

I knew she was very old so it was going to happen soon or later, but we have been together for 19 years which is almost half of my life. Our bond ran very deep. She was both my baby and my friend. To say that I will miss her is an understatement. The grief isn't a matter of species, it's a matter of love. And we loved each other so much.

So this was the third day I called in sick. I got a sick leave from my doctor for Monday and Tuesday but not for this morning so I was supposed to return to school today, but I was drained and devastated, and unable to teach. And there was Loukoum to take care of.

He was better yesterday, and he seemed still on the right path this morning, but a couple of hours after Bastet's death, I noticed he had troubles walking and was very hot. He was running 40,3°C which is a very high fever (cats are supposed to be 38°C/38,5°C) so I took him back to the vet's. She gave him a shot of antiperytic and antibiotic and put him on a drip. When I took his temperature at 5 pm it was 37,8°C so the treatment worked (of course now I fear hypothermia). The vet asked me to come back tomorrow morning at 9 am to assess the situation.
I need him to hang on because that would be too much, and I don't want to go through the nightmare that was Bastet's death throes again.

So here I am. I live in grief and worry, and I'm completely exhausted.


Jan. 21st, 2013 05:23 pm
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It has been quite a day for both of us. The night was quiet but I could tell, from Loukoum's position that he didn't really rest. Me? I only slept one hour!

My vet's office doesn't open until 2 pm aon Mondays but I didn't want to wait because Loukoum wasn't eating and was still moaning in the morning (even though his temparature was lower) so I went to see the vet around the corner. She drew blood and checked the standard chemistry to run out any uremia crisis or liver issue, observed the cat, noticed how his eyes were constantly moving and recommended to go to a certain veterinary hospital in the suburb and see a neurologist over there. She made the appointment for me. 30 minutes later we were riding a taxi and reached the hospital at noon.

So Mr Loukoum got an MRI and therefore had to be anaesthetized in spite of his 17 years and 8 months. The MRI showed nothing wrong in his brain but confirmed that he has a deep otitis (the tympanic cavity is filled with fluid) in both ear. The neurologist gave me a six week treatment of antibiotics and also corticoids but not as much as he would have prescribed to a younger cat, since corticoids are bad news for failing heart and kidneys.

Let's hope the treatment will work and won't screw his organs. We all ruled out surgery given Loukoum's age and heart problems so...

The neurologist told me that Loukoum must show improvements within 2 days max, in other words he must eat by himself.

When we finally got back from the hospital at almost 4 pm– after some twists, for they first handed me back my cat bag with a cat inside that actually wasn't my cat! –, he went to drink and accepted to eat some Hills food that is meant for senior cats (it isn't the special diet for kidney support but Loukoum is allowed to eat anything he wants as long as he eats). The texture is more mousse-like than mash-like so old cats love it, and it worked.

Let's hope it is a good sign. At the moment he's sleeping in his basket and snoring.

Now I must take care of myself for I'm exhausted.


Jan. 20th, 2013 12:10 pm
chani: (medieval demons)
We had snow last night again and it's still snowing, so my street is back to white.

But I won't walk in a snowed in Paris for I'm spending my Sunday in Marking Hell, and I want to watch over Loukoum who isn't well today. He didn't want to eat this morning (which never happens) and he seems very tired. I hope it isn't his heart. He's sleeping in his basket near the radiator, so hopefully he'll get up later and will be more active and hungry.

Not feeling well myself, and with an upset tummy it's better to stay inside. I hope I haven't caught a bug.

Maybe it's just worry.
chani: (sunset in Tanzania)
Loukoum spent this morning at the Vet's for X-rays, blood test, urine test...

All the tests were scheduled for two weeks, because of the weight loss the vet noticed during the annual consultation, but I was very worried when I dropped him this morning as he had a fit last night at 4.30 am. After getting up he started screaming louder and louder and I found him lying on his left side, his mouth open, breathing heavily and miaowing loudly as if he were in pain or scared. Was it an asthma attack or a panick attack? I managed to calm him down and soon enough he was purring so I don't think he was in pain. It reminded me of the fit he had in August.

The tests revealed high blood pressure, kidney failure, and there was something weird about the lungs on the X-rays(and of course an inflammation of the bronchial tubes but that one was expected), although his heart was big but not that big. He doesn't look his age but his organs really are 17 years old and a half.

Poor baby was sedated by the vet but still super stressed; he was so happy to be back home at the beginning of the afternoon!

So from now on Loukoum is basically on the same diet and medication as Bastet is, plus his aerokat sessions with the inhaler. The "cat bill" is going to double (and today's morning at the vet's already costed me 230€!) but, as we say in French:"quand on aime on ne compte pas"!

I'm tired.


May. 18th, 2012 08:18 pm
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I haven't been around lately because I was busy playing nurse to Loukoum and worrying myself sick. He's had some digestive problem since Saturday and got really ill on Tuesday evening. I took him to the vet on Wednesday morning, because he had diarrhoea that also prompted vomiting, which is not good news for a 17 years old cat.

Turned out that the blood test didn't reveal anything bad – no kidney failure–, but he has lost 800 g again since December which is a concern. The vet put him on a drip to rehydrate him and added an antispasmodic...which later knocked him out and caused mydriasis and mucous dryness for more than 24 hours! Poor thing was miserable.

He seems better today. His pupils are no longer dilated, he's more active, and able to eat normally while he could only lap up wet food yesterday. I wish he would eat more and put some weigth on, though.

And in two weeks I'll be in Rome, away from my fur babies.
chani: (Default)

chani: (Default)
This cat is the most patient creature ever. Not only there's that annoying bird who doesn't want to let him/her have a nap, but you can hear the dog barking and the television is on!

chani: (Default)
This is a small world.

While surfing the net, seeking infos about cat asthma on various  pet boards and veterinarian sites (I'm going to buy the cat inhaler for Loukoum for there are less side-effects than oral medication and the coughing is back now that he takes  a pill every two days only) I came across Sharkey's story, watched the video and recognized the voice...

Turned out that Sharkey's "mom" is Eric Stoltz's sister, Susan, hence his narrating the story she wrote about her poor dog.

Hearing this, I couldn't help thinking of Daniel Graystone's chilling speech to the Graystone board in "There is another Sky", about the sentient beings that the race of Cylons would be.

Same voice and precise delivery, but a very different speech.

"we will wait and see who stands up to do what is fair, decent and morally right", Eric says, using his sister's words (and it's likely that he agrees with her).

In Pantagruel, Rabelais could write in 1532: 

" Sapience n’entre point en âme malivole, et science sans conscience n’est que ruine de l’âme. "

Animal welfare doesn't only question what science does. It is also about greed and the search for profit. It questions our capitalist societies based on ownership and the growth of capital. Like the cylons on Caprica/BSG. What was disturbing and fascinating on Caprica wasn't the technology itself, the fact of creating life through digital imprints and artificial intelligence, but the fact that Graystone was a scientist genius and a ruthless buisnessman very aware of the market laws at once, and also a human being with flaws, cracks and weaknesses.

Philosophizing on ethics is necessary––that's how individuals morally grow up–– but so is doing" what is fair, decent and morally right", which, in our societies, implies rules and regulations. In other words, it's a matter of Politics; from the Greek politeia that is "how a city (State) is run".

On Caprica some young people, eager for rules and regulations, turned to the STO religion, waiting for One True God to tell them what is right and wrong. It looked like the failure of colonial polytheism, but I rather see it as the failure of Politics.

I hope, for animal welfare, and human welfare as well, that we aren't going that way.


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